UConn's Geno Auriemma, a winner of 10 NCAA women's basketball championships and one of sport's more outspoken coaches, criticized those fans of his program who believe the Huskies aren't challenged enough.
As part of a 71-minute appearance on a Grantland podcast Monday, Auriemma riffed on a number of topics, among them Deflategate and his former player Diana Taurasi's coaching potential. In the final third of the interview, he was asked whether the UConn program has become too good.
"Some of our fans are so goddamn stupid it's unbelievable. They complain a lot of times that we have no competition and it's boring. Then if we play a really good team and don't play our A-game, they bitch that something's wrong with UConn: 'This kid's not any good. That kid's not any good. Geno Auriemma got outcoached by this coach.' It's unbelievable."
Interviewer Zach Lowe had noted that profanity was allowed in the podcast.
Auriemma also railed against those who say they don't like UConn.
"I heard this WNBA coach say, 'I don't like Connecticut. They're bad for the game because they dominate so much. They get the best players and they kill everybody.' And I'm like, 'That's the most idiotic statement I ever heard.' That just goes to show you how ignorant some people are.
"Let's say we get two high school All-Americans every year. Let's just say. The people we beat also get two. So if there's 20 kids that make first team All-American and they play in the McDonald's All-American Game and we get two. Or three. What happens to the other 17 guys? So obviously we're doing something a little different than just getting the best players. No. 1, we get the right players, and we try to do the right thing by them."
Auriemma essentially built the UConn program from the ground up when he arrived in 1985. He is a five-time national coach of the year, and UConn has five undefeated national championship seasons. Auriemma was inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in recent years.
In 2010, when his Huskies were on the verge of surpassing the 88-game win streak set by John Wooden and his UCLA men's teams from 1971 to 1974, Auriemma used the stage to talk about the disparity in attention between the men's and women's games, saying, "I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman's record."
Before the Women's Final Four in April, Auriemma called the men's game "a joke."
"I don't coach it. I don't play it, so I don't understand the ins and outs of it. But as a spectator watching it, it's a joke. There's only like 10 teams, you know, out of 25, that actually play the kind of game of basketball that you'd like to watch."